VIDEOGAME REVIEW: DESTINY FIRST IMPRESSIONS PART TWO
This is my second impression of DESTINY after analyzing the game within the first 24 hours of play. This will be my impressions of the END GAME portion of DESTINY as well as some critiques & overall opinions of the game currently.
There will be no spoilers, don’t worry.
*All photos are taken directly from my Playstation 4*
The second day with DESTINY has been much more eye opening & interesting I gotta admit. I’m currently a maxed out Level 20 Titan who finished the storyline campaign & have moved onto the competitive side of DESTINY’s various offerings now.
So how was the campaign? It was good. An interesting hybrid mix of Halo-like campaign levels with varying enemy types & interesting worlds. However being a sort-of-not-really MMO made it so that the world had to feel somewhat persistent with other players sometimes entering my instance.
Because of this, DESTINY somewhat lacked those campaign centric "spectacle moments"similarly to the ending chase in Halo 3 or The Scarab in Halo 2. But I feel it would be unfair to warrant the fact that the moments here are interesting & the world building of the game did make the adventure interesting & very engaging.
Basically it felt different from Halo, but it’s still good. Yes it’s worth playing.
From my perspective the overall storyline was interesting but it did feel somewhat brief. The ending also felt like just a taste of a much more vast adventure & after seeing it through the campaign felt more like an introductory of DESTINY as a concept than a full blown adventure.
I clocked in around 13 hours once I beat the campaign & reached Level 20. But this time included some multiplayer, mission repeats & other such stuff. It’s pretty solid.
So what now?
Well once you reach 20 you’re done levelling in a conventional sense I suppose. But the game doesn’t end there since DESTINY thankfully introduces the Light System as a means of end game progression. Light is an attribute that Guardians harness as a way to further themselves in their fight against The Darkness.
It increases your damage to high level end game enemies which is required to face the difficult super bosses & raids in the game. For an example I can do a "Strike" which is a mission type where you go to a planet & kill a boss for loot.
It’s similar to Diablo where you run a particular dungeon to kill its boss & you’re desperately rummaging through hellfire to get to the challenging threat itself. You can change the difficulty kind of like setting Skulls on Halo 3 so they change your XP bonus, Vanguard Marks & drops associated with higher skill levels.
These missions are the best missions in the game. I’m serious I love these things.
Setting the difficulty to a level you aren’t at yet, getting some buddies together & hauling your ass through a storm of gunfire only to face a massive monster at the end is amazing. There’s also Bounties in the game which range from completing certain Strikes on Heroic difficulty or “Kill 100 Hunters in The Crucible” for rewards.
These Bounties can be chosen & abandoned at will too so you can focus on whatever you want to do. “Headhunter” for example is a Bounty all about getting head shots in DESTINY’s multiplayer. If I finish it I get EXP & Crucible Reputation which levels up my…well y’know Reputation in the Crucible. After that I get access to PVP centric gear from vendors & weapons as well as new banners, ships, vehicles, cosmetics & more.
The game smartly gives you things to pursue once you hit 20 so you can pursue whatever you wish. Vanguard Marks are from Strikes, so you can get better PvE ( Player vs Environment ) gear & Crucible Marks for PvP ( Player vs Player ) gear. I honestly have no idea how high these things go to but I’ve seen people close to Level 30 so far, so yeah I have no idea how far this reaches.
You can also dye your gear with Shaders.
Here is my gear right now with no Shaders in effect. Here’s my same armour with two different Shaders.
As you can see with Shaders you can change the look of your gear so that’s pretty cool. You obtain them from all manners of things like loot drops, clans ( oh yeah you can make a clan! ) as well as other means probably I just haven’t found them yet.
You can also buy new ships or vehicles I don’t really know if there’s a difference besides cosmetic reasons but it’s there! Lets also look at some Light-Based weaponry too.
Here we can see one of my rifles I’m levelling up right now. It has a crap load of upgrades as you can see with some only being obtainable by collecting resources from high-endgame value Strikes or Crucible encounters. There’s this material called "Ascendant" that you seem to need to obtain the most powerful abilities of your Light weapons, so there’s tons of incentive here to further that cause.
Here’s my Light-Based helmet that features upgrades ranging from increased melee speed, reduced grenade cool down when I pick up orbs from my friends special attacks. It also has upgraded defense, which y’know is probably a good idea.
There’s also parameters I didn’t cover before. There’s three of them.
Intellect: “Intellect reduces the cool down time of your main ability, allowing more use.”
Discipline: “Discipline decreases the cool down time of your grenades.”
Strength: “Strength reduces the cool down of your second ability.”
You then have different effect parameters ranging from 0% to 100% depending on your gear equipped. Intellect affects how often I can use Fist of Havoc as my Striker Sub-Class. Discipline is self-explanatory & Strength affects how often I can use Storm Fist, which is basically my super punch that hits enemies so hard it sends shockwaves & turns them into anti-matter.
What I’m trying to say here is that the Campaign side of DESTINY is but literally a small portion of this game. Everything that actually matters is done through cooperative play & multiplayer for all that end game loot. You also still Level Up in a sense but instead of gaining levels you gain “Motes of Light” which are used to purchase super powerful & ultra rare items for you to use.
As you can see it’s pretty flawlessly shown & it’s great. To put it in MMO terms, Level 20 is MAX LEVEL & Light is your ITEM LEVEL. So you can surpass your own limitations to kick even more ass. So that’s pretty cool. Besides that I’m working on playing The Crucible a lot more so I can gain loot drops from that, do some Bounties & crush people with my powers.
I do wonder how many Strikes are in the game though & I am a bit worried by the lack of game modes in The Crucible. So far I got Control which is Domination/Capture The Location kinda game mode. Clash is Team Death Match & there’s Free For All too. If there’s more I don’t have it yet.
I assume in the future like other Halo games, Bungie will add more modes. I remember people complaining in Halo Reach when Team Snipers was absent & Bungie simply added it in one day & I was so happy. So there’s no cause for alarm, it’s totally possible to add more. But yeah there’s no custom games or custom matchmaking.
And your matchmaking rank is basically your Light level I guess. You’re just trying to increase that so you can fend off The Darkness’ most valiant threats. I also just hope Bungie releases some free content, which is apparently happening soon too, so not everything has to be paid for.
I think if you want people to invest in your universe you’re going to have to cater to the stingy self-appointed unrealistic gamers of today who never seem to be happy with literally anything anymore. But it’s Bungie so I have the faith that they will, pun intended, fulfill their DESTINY.
Overall I think I was looking at DESTINY in the wrong way originally. Some people want Skyrim in space or Borderlands but I think wanting those things in DESTINY is the wrong way of looking at it. DESTINY is the natural evolution of the HALO franchise taken form in a new universe freed from the shackles of constraint of that particular universe.
The level designs are like HALO, the multiplayer is clean, cut & sharp like HALO so it doesn’t have kill streaks & all that stupid stuff it’s just straight up a game of skill & using your gear/powers to win. I think people are getting mad over DESTINY not being something that it was never intended to be like.
It’s like going to a pizza themed restaurant that specializes in the best friggen’ pizza you’ve ever had & going there for spaghetti but when you realize it’s a pizza only place & you’re somehow mad at this realization, you’re angry that the pizza isn’t spaghetti even though it was never spaghetti to begin with.
Does that make sense? Haha.
Because DESTINY is a great game with a lot of promise & as fas as that goes I’ll leave you with this metaphor to explain DESTINY.
DESTINY is one really delicious space pizza. Thanks for reading.
DESTINY is the new game from Bungie & Activision which came out today. This is my FIRST IMPRESSIONS & doesn’t equate as a full blown review of any kind. This is my opinion on the first day of DESTINY & my time with my Level 15 Titan.
*All photos from now on are captured from my Playstation 4*
When someone asks, "What is DESTINY?" People tend to get confused. Is it like Halo? Is it like Borderlands? Is it similar to World of Warcraft? DESTINY is a First-Person Shooter RPG with MMO elements mixed into it. It’s a somewhat persistent world that exists where your character can interact & play with others in real time but it can be enjoyed alone if you want.
DESTINY’s strengths lie, in my opinion, in its multiplayer & social interactions between myself & my friends. The multiplayer is pound for pound Halo down to the map designs, modes, vehicles & structure overall as an experience. This is amazing, I personally feel like the multiplayer is tight, direct & crafted with a sense of true direction making it fun & not feel unfair, well so far anyway.
The best part about multiplayer is that you can use all your gear drops & set ups from the rest of the game as your loadout. Also you can level up, gain Crucible Marks & Reputation in order to further yourself in the PVP environment side of DESTINY.
This is easily the strongest component of the game.
The other side is the social interaction with friends, where you team up & kill things in droves together for new loot & experience points similar to Diablo or Borderlands. Having played various missions by myself & with friends it’s easy to say DESTINY is at its core much more interesting when you have a pal to talk to.
What I do find interesting about DESTINY is its difficulty, which caters to a nice curve of players by not feeling too hard or too easy throughout. My favourite missions thus far & experiences all stem from the HARD mode missions which are pretty ruthless & much more engaging. These missions are not only my favourite but the most interesting.
I also love the sense of progression in DESTINY with equipping new weapons that I obtain from missions then levelling those weapons up by simply using them then being able to upgrade these weapons with new scopes or damage increases. It’s pretty simplistic so far, I’m sure Exotic/Legendary weapons get much more intense later on but for now it’s welcomed & easy to understand.
The menu is simple & clean as you can see above right here with my Titan. Your gear is displayed in a nice fashion with various categories, colours ranging the rarity of items & simple info like your level or defensive ratings. The menu design & overall UI structure of DESTINY is solid making even people who are alien to MMO-like experiences or RPG’s feel at home with the simplistic layout.
You can also buy new gear, emblems, ammo or trade in encrypted items you get in the world back at home base to transform into new powerful items. The progression feels balanced & fair with every mission to some degree offering something tantalizing to pursue.
The armour upgrades as well as ability upgrades are great too.
Every item has a clean display showing you the upgrades available in a simple to use easy fashion. Here you can see my rare drop chest piece with an ammo ability built in which is signified by the BLUE. The GREEN abilities are ones I can further upgrade as well as you can see here I can increase my defense. But in the rarer items you need to spend weapon parts to augment your gear because the stat increase is much better than normal or uncommon gear.
Abilities work in a similar fashion as well, here you can see my Titan’s skill tree for his Striker class. The Striker specializes in melee combat, heavy weapons & Hulk Smashing everything into bits. But at Level 15 I gained the ability to use The Defender class, which is a supportive type of gameplay which specializes in mitigating damage through summoning a gravity barrier or being able to generate light orbs to help my team mates use their specials more often.
As far as I know, there’s two classes for Titan. If there’s more, I have no idea but I’m sure in the future there will be. But as it stands the option to change at a whim, though if you change you need to level up that new class style from scratch, it’s always an option. Notice how some abilities are BLUE & others GREEN. Blue means I chose that style of ability over the other.
But you can swap whenever you want. Also most uncommon or rare gear will have special properties as well. As you can see my helmet increases my melee attack speed or below my Fusion Rifle has various upgrades & paths to use. It’s all up to you to decide.
The storyline so far, without delving into any spoilers, is interesting but doesn’t feel like anything you haven’t seen before. It’s all about “Light vs Dark” but again I’m not very far so I can’t say anything besides that. It’s compelling enough that I do want to see it through & so far there’s enough incentive with Bungie’s inclusion of lore in the form of Grimoire scores which you obtain by encountering new enemies or locations or people.
I also find the locations you visit, visually, are amazing. They are detailed & look astonishing on the Playstation 4 as well are the maps you play in multiplayer. It’s a beautiful game for sure. I also enjoy the very Halo-like level design of some levels but I do have problems with that as well.
Lemme get into what irks me so far.
As beautiful as DESTINY is there’s a sense of linearity during missions that really feel like they’re killing my sense of exploration. For an example you might be visiting Venus & are on the job to find info on something. The sense of direction is conveyed perfectly but if you go down a different path than the route intended, you just fight enemies. There’s nothing too interesting to find. There’s also tons of little caves that usually have nothing in them or giant areas that look nice but you just shoot stuff in them.
There are chests laying around sometimes but they’re very few & far between from each other. Every time I enter an area, I want to explore every nook like I would in the original BIOSHOCK but here there is usually never anything to find. You might find a Dead Ghost collectible once in a blue moon maybe but for the most part it’s pretty vacant.
Or maybe I suck at finding things & there’s tons of things to find & I’m an idiot. That could honestly be true too, again first impressions.
Every planet feels like a giant map with different paths but when you go down a path not intended for your mission you assume that path is for another mission, which is correct. So you finish the mission you’re on, choose another, come BACK to the planet only to have to kill the same mobs of enemies again THEN take that other path you were curious about & continue that other mission now.
There are "Patrol Missions" which are basically free roam missions where you do random smaller missions all over the map, which are fun y’know but they get repetitive. There are thankfully a few races of enemies to fight but it does sometimes feel repetitive, which yes I know every game is by nature but DESTINY doesn’t do the best job of masking that repetitive motion in a convincing way sometimes.
With that being said, I don’t want this to sound like a negative first impression because it isn’t. DESTINY is a fun game with interesting mechanics, gameplay & ideas at hand but it does falter in some key areas. The mission design feels uninspired & the sense of exploration might feel a bit downplayed than I was hoping it to be but it’s still a great game.
The promise is there & I believe in Bungie to fulfill their vision for DESTINY, as of right now I would say DESTINY is worth the price of admission but keep your expectations in check. This is a game that’s going to be improved on in the long long run of its lifetime & again this is all based on less than 24 hours with the game itself.
DESTINY is a solid refreshing change of pace to the genre but it does have its own demons it still needs to exorcise in order to become the great game I know it’s capable of being.
DESTINY is great, I’m interested to see where it goes. Thanks for reading.
By: MILAN JEGENJAN Email: AscendancyMilan@hotmail.com OR MilanMJ@outlook.com
What I Played: It took me 5 hours 56 minutes to complete all 50 Levels. I killed 8523 enemies, 2270 of those with bombs, as well as used 54282 pieces of ammunition. I also have 60% of the Trophies on Playstation 4.
VELOCITY 2X is the sequel to VELOCITY ULTRA & is developed by FuturLab for the Playstation 4 & Playstation Vita. I never finished the original game, so how does the sequel stack up?
VELOCITY 2X is so damn good it makes me wanna go back & finish VELOCITY ULTRA now. Lemme’ tell you what works here.
*Also all photos from this point on were captured from my Playstation 4.*
In VELOCITY 2X you play Kai Tana, a space pilot lost amidst the cosmos that stumbles upon a civil war between warring alien races in the fight for survival. As far as stories go, this is a pretty straight forward adventure but what’s surprising is that 2X takes the time to actually make you care, which little to no other game in this sort of genre does.
In 2X the gameplay is split into two very distinctive styles of play: Ship Combat & Platforming. To give you an idea, 2X feels like the best of Space Invaders & Galaga combined with the ability to teleport, launch bombs & fire lasers at enemy star ships. It also has puzzles that combine different colour switches that require zipping through the level at fast speeds to complete as well as boss battles which I’ll talk about later.
Each level has collectibles, enemies to shoot & obstacles to overcome. You’re graded by your time, skill & other parameters to determine your final score so the more adaptive, quick & skilled you become the better your score is to compete with your friends. Some of the battles are so hectic with bullet hell lasers & various enemy types rushing you that it kept the combat in the space part of the game always fresh & exciting.
The boss battles are equal parts satisfying as well with complex fights combining all of the gameplay elements from the levels into these very meticulously crafted experiences where you need to shoot certain switches in certain angles while dodging bullets & explosions. You then have to jump inside ships & kill them from the inside.
The platforming side of VELOCITY 2X is probably the biggest change from the original & also the best new addition in my opinion.
The platform segments of 2X feel like a beautiful combination of Super Metroid with old school Prince Of Persia & Castlevania interwoven into such a satisfying combination. These segments require you to use Kai’s agility, laser guns & ability to teleport through walls to collect shards, hit switches & sprint through death defying scenarios.
It’s so satisfying though & always felt fresh. I also love how later on in the game you need to revisit platforming segments along with other parts of the level you’re in to hit certain switches. You can also drop beacons that allow for easy teleportation throughout levels so when things become increasingly complex the simple UI & controls keeps everything brisk, manageable & extremely fun throughout.
The production value is also extremely well done with beautiful stills that pop with simplistic yet effective style. Kai’s look along with other characters feel fully realized & the variation of comic book-like story panels & seamless gameplay makes the entire experience fast & never lose pace for a moment.
The music is also really chill & appropriate along with a learning curve that deftly presents new gameplay mechanics at a great pace without feeling like the game is cheating you out of explanation or reason. It’s kind of beautiful how everything in 2X works really.
As far as negatives go there’s really not much here to complain about to be honest. There’s 50 Levels in total that tell the entire tale which ends with a fitting cliffhanger & there’s secret bonus levels, leaderboards & the integration of cross-buy/cross-save across Playstation 4 & Playstation Vita is seamless & implemented perfectly.
It’s just a really well done game overall.
VELOCITY 2X is an impeccably orchestrated piece of hybrid gameplay mechanics that comes together into something amazing that feels fresh, fast & intuitive throughout.
The mix of space combat, Super Metroid-like platforming & social integrations ranging from leaderboards, cross-buy/cross-save between Playstation 4 & Playstation Vita helps make VELOCITY 2X into easily one of my favourite games of the year by a long shot.
It is also currently FREE on Playstation 4 & Playstation Vita if you have Playstation Plus in September. This is an amazing title full of interesting mechanics that feels like the best of everything it does.
Play this game.
Amazing gameplay mechanics, great difficulty curve & controls
Interesting story, characters & comic book panels
Addition of platform segments elevates the entire game
Simple controls with great UI, music, tuning & design
Social integrations & cross-buy/cross-save
Game Of The Year Contender
By: Milan Jegenjan
Email: AscendancyMilan@hotmail.com OR MilanMJ@outlook.com